Barcamp review: Arts and innovation connect

This workshop session centered around the question: How can arts and business interact?
Based on his current report, the host Giovanni Schiuma underlined the fact that there is a huge gap between arts and business.

Prof. Giovanni Schiuma

Giovanni Schiuma’s thesis: Sometimes arts and the business sector interact in cooperations or in sponsorships from big companies in the art scene, but this is only a superficial involvement for single projects, while there is hardly ever a strong and sustainable connection.
Art is a business market, a driver and catalyst for culture and creative industries (CI) and a driver for social development. Art might be a potential tool to help businesses to become more profitable – but also more sustainable.
Arts’ principals and the creative process should become part of the DNA of businesses. This is the challenge!

Questions:

  • How can it be realized that arts are recognized for their innovative and driving forces within society and for their market power?
  • Which models for involving artists and creative entrepreneurs in companies have proven successful?
  • What do companies gain from artistic interventions?
  • How can creative principles and powers be integrated in the industries and improve innovation today?

Sandra Zätterström

Sandra Zätterström’s thesis: Sweden has a far-reaching experience in the traditional industries. In comparison, the CCIs are relatively new: today they exist mostly in the form of some small companies, of which a lot are focused on fashion and (digital) communication. The arts and businesses are not really connected at the moment.This needs to be improved so that CCIs are better connected within themselves but also with the regions and towards cross-sector connection.

Questions from the participants:

  • How can artistic life be combined with the task of working for a big company?
  • Do the artists want to do that kind of work?
  • Selling art to companies was always something additional, which might be perceived as a danger. Should we rather try to use art as a form of communication to carry emotions? How do we get art in the core of the business?

Examples:
Hassan Bakhshi, director of CIs in NESTA’s policy and research unit, calculated statistically how many creatives are working in the CIs: every second person in the UK who is employed is a creative! see also: www.nesta.org.uk/home1/assets/blog_entries/dynamic_mapping

ArtLab in Copenhagen, Denmark, focusses on developing both the artistic as well as the business skills of creatives, helps artists to introduce concepts to sell them to the market.

The Berlin Carrer College of the University of the Arts offers help in self-marketing for musicians and other creatives.

At the Aalborg University and within the InVio network (Denmark) business models are analysed in order to gain an insight where to efficiently use design tools, creative workshops etc

Learnings:

  • In order to convince companies/politicians/investors to connect with the arts, it is important to make them understand that they need innovation: They have to fall in love with the idea.
  • It is inevitable to have a holistic view from different perspectives, nationally and internationally (creating professional interface agencies). It is not only about pure value but sustainability!
  • The idea of co-creation needs to be pushed.
  • Create a neutral arena so that both sides feel comfortable, invent a tool that makes it easier for both sides to communicate, e.g. via mediators. (see also: http://www.trainingartistsforinnovation.eu)
  • Arts’ organisations need to be supported – while policy makers need to be properly informed.
  • Integrate a creative professional in the boards of companies while establishing new forms of networks.

⇒ In order to clarify the situation for both sides, structure tools need to be used/ created.

Further Links:
ArtLab Copenhagen: http://artlab.dk
Berlin Career College, University of Arts: http://www.udk-berlin.de/sites/ziw/content/index_ger.html
Aalborg University: http://www.en.aau.dk
InVio network: http://invio-net.dk
Training arts for innovation: http://www.trainingartistsforinnovation.eu

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